May 20th, 2009
07:08 PM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich says time for Pelosi to resign

(CNN) - Newt Gingrich is calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to resign her leadership post Tuesday, days after deriding the California Democrat as a "trivial politician" over her description of what the CIA has told her about aggressive government interrogation techniques.

In a column for the conservative publication Human Events, the former House Speaker takes aim at Pelosi's press conference last week, during which she said the CIA did not tell her in 2002 that it used the aggressive interrogation technique of waterboarding. She went on to allege the CIA routinely misleads Congress.

"She charged that the CIA, deliberately and as a matter of policy, violated the law by lying to Congress," Gingrich writes in the column. "And with that allegation, Speaker Pelosi disqualified herself from the office she holds."

"Speaker Pelosi has damaged America's safety," Gingrich also writes. "She's made America less secure by sending a signal to the men and women defending our country that they can't count on their leaders to defend them."

In an interview on ABC Wednesday, Gingrich elaborated on his comments, saying CIA agents aren't likely to trust Pelosi with sensitive information going forward given her allegation.

"If you were a CIA agent today and you were told to brief Nancy Pelosi, how could you have any sense of confidence in telling her anything?" Gingrich said.

A Democratic leadership aide Wednesday called Gingrich's comments a "political ploy."

"This is an ethically challenged former Speaker of the House who is out to sell books," the aide said.

Congressional Democrats on Tuesday also appeared to rally behind Pelosi, with her No. 2, Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, saying he believes the speaker is being truthful in her statements about 7-year-old briefings.

"Republicans are going to stay on it as long as you guys keep printing it, as long as it continues to be a television item – not about the substance, but about the distraction," Hoyer told reporters Wednesday. "As long as you want to feed on it, the Republicans will continue to feed you."

Meanwhile, one of Pelosi's closest allies in the House, Connecticut Democrat John Larson, acknowledged to CNN that the Speaker's news conference last week could have been better, but insisted there hasn't been any fallout among Democrats.

"Perhaps it wasn't one of her best press conferences. But certainly everyone in this caucus stands behind her to be the lead in our caucus. I don't know if it could have been done better or not, but our caucus is entirely behind her," he said.

- CNN's Deirdre Walsh contributed to this story

Filed under: Nancy Pelosi • Newt Gingrich • Popular Posts
soundoff (304 Responses)
  1. Chipster

    I think it's time for Gingrich to check the facts before opening his mouth. It turns out that the CIA has a stack of inaccurate reports about who attended meetings and when. They even reported that "Congressman" Porter Goss attended a meeting that, not only did he not attend, but he was no longer a Congressman - why? Because Porter Goss was the CIA Director at the time!!!

    Will the CIA apologize to Pelosi? Will Gingrich?

    May 20, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  2. opus512

    Gingrich is an idiot, a disgraced idiot that's not even in office and holds no position of authority in anything. Anything.

    Every time CNN quotes Newt Gingrich, God kills a kitten.

    Think about it.

    May 20, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  3. American for Truth

    "How is Newt still relevant? He was revealed to be an adultering hypocrite, and yet now people care what he says is truth?"

    OK if thats true, then please tell Bill Clinton and John Edwards to keep their mouths shut. I'm still confused about what the definition of "is" is.

    May 20, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  4. Sean

    This is a non-issue that Republicans are manufacturing to win a news cycle and hopefully take down a formidable adversary. It's disgusting that you continue to print every filthy word that comes out of that has-been hate mongerer Newt Gingrich's mouth. You want someone to resign? How about whoever keeps accepting this as a newsworthy story steps down so we can focus on real issues again. And while we're at it, Newt Gingrich should consider retiring from life.

    May 20, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  5. Louis Marchese

    What is Newt asking? He want Ms Pelosi to quit because he feels that the CIA does not lie. I am also sure that he believes that they do not destroy evidence when instructed not to. I guess Mr. G does not know how to recognize a lie when he hears one , because of his ability to do the same. In is Contract on America , he was very honest and aboveboard is his proposals and has NEVER lied in his Professional or Personal life

    May 20, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  6. Darlene Williams

    Who does Gingrich think he is? Let someone rise up and have him to step down. If simply having someone step down based on he say, she say then everyone in congress should step down.

    May 20, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  7. Sniffit

    It's the torture, stupid!

    May 20, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  8. Bob (Illinois)

    Oh, my goodness!

    Newt and Dicky boy need to stick a sock in it.

    May 20, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  9. Karma Time

    Take that botox-bustin' overbite Babe and boot her on home to CA. Useless waste of space. How embarrassing to be American with that one 3rd in line to the WH. BUUUUUUUUUUHHH BYE!!

    May 20, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  10. Michael

    Gingrich should've been saying this to Bush and Cheney and the conservatives/Republicans for lies and deceiving the american people.Nancy Pelosi cares about the people and is help to fix the mess the conservatives/Republican made.They can't get to Obama so now they're trying to go after Pelosi.

    May 20, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  11. KAW

    what a bunch of hypocrites some of you jump all over Newt for being an adulterer...but when your good old boy Bill Clinton bagged an intern in the White House the democrats insisted it was no one's business and didn't deserve public scrutiny.

    Double standard much????

    May 20, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  12. Minnesotan

    This is funny, considering how many people think that Newt and his pathetic partisan ploys should be the one to resign. This guy has done nothing good, progressive or intelligent while in office.

    May 20, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  13. simon

    Ya, and Bush should have been impeached.

    Give me a break. This debate is over nothing, and is just more of the same from the tired, issueless GOP.

    May 20, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  14. Tracy-Oakley

    Pelosi doesn't need to resign. Gingrich needs to go find a real job or just be quiet. He really is sickening.

    May 20, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. Don

    as a democrat, when are the democrats going to start cleaning house. how about starting now, instead of continually keeping trash in our house

    May 20, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  16. Kate

    Republicans are just mad because everyone is blaming people from their party for the entire situation. They're looking for a democrat to pull into this mess as if to say, "See, look! It wasn't just us, the dems knew about it too."

    May 20, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  17. CS from VA

    Regardless of which side of this fence you stand, you cannot deride someone for being dishonest without knowing all the facts surrounding the issue.

    Whether Pelosi trashes the CIA, or Gingrich trashes Pelosi, it's all just so much "showboating" without the facts being brought into the light of day.

    Therefore, it's time to set aside the name-calling and declassify the evidence for all to see.

    May 20, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  18. Jefe

    Newt, you're as irrelevant as the 2008 Detroit Lions. I can't wait to see Bill Clinton come out swinging at the few members of Congress your precious Anti-Individual, Pro-Corporation, Big Government, Neoconservative Fascist party has remaining.

    May 20, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  19. jack

    tell newt to go home.

    remember contract on amerika?

    May 20, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  20. CitizenJane


    Newt's ailment is called "dementia".

    May 20, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  21. liberal in maine

    Whatever happened behind closed doors comes to light when All the Briefings and meeting notes are declassified.

    Newt wasnt there

    May 20, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  22. Drew

    It's nice to see that someone can't have an opinion without being belittled and namecalled in this country anymore. Instead of focusing on the idea that maybe Speaker Pelosi lied, most of the comments here are focused on bashing Newt. Why is it that so many people on the left use such vehement and hateful language with regards to anyone on the right.

    You have for years now attempted to degrade people and insult people at a personal level who have different opinions than you. I'm not saying that there aren't people on the right who don't, but most of their anger comes out in reflection of different policy positions or ideas than personal attacks. Why so much viciousness? Can't we have civil debate anymore?

    May 20, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  23. Burton

    We got into the Iraq War because of lies from either the CIA or the White House. Who can your trust from Washington. Not Gingrich and maybe not Peloci. I would just really like to know the TRUTH for once.

    May 20, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  24. lynn in NM

    Haven't heard anything from Pelosi lately, have we? No proof, Nancy? Or is it that you were lying? That proves to me that she was lying. IF she had been telling the truth, she would have defended herself. Buh-bye Nancy.

    May 20, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
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